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Porsche CEO Spied On, Claims Company

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BERLIN — German luxury carmaker Porsche SE has filed a criminal complaint with authorities regarding a suspected attempt to eavesdrop on chief executive Wendelin Wiedeking, the company said Sunday.

Porsche spokesman Albrecht Balmer said the company had filed a complaint with prosecutors in Braunschweig. He declined to elaborate.

The German weekly Der Spiegel reported that the complaint came after the microphone end of a baby-monitoring system was discovered behind a sofa in a hotel suite a day before last year's meeting of the supervisory board of Volkswagen AG. Porsche holds 31 percent of the shares of Volkswagen AG and is seeking a majority stake.

State police in Lower Saxony _ the second-largest shareholder in Volkswagen after Porsche _ confirmed to The Associated Press they were investigating the complaint but refused to give any details.

The government of Lower Saxony, which also holds a stake in Volkswagen, has called for an investigation into the assertions.

"These are very serious accusations, assertions and apparent findings," Olaf Glaeseker, a spokesman for Lower Saxony's government, was quoted as telling the Bild am Sonntag weekly.

Porsche is locked in a battle with both VW and Lower Saxony over its desire to change a rule under which "significant decisions" require the approval of shareholders representing 80 percent of Volkswagen's stock, plus one share.

Lower Saxony, which holds 20.1 percent of Volkswagen and thus can block major decisions at VW, does not want to see the rule changed. The matter remained unresolved after Volkswagen's annual general meeting April 24.